Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2013 Contents A7
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Consulting editor at the
Trinidad Express Lennox Grant
yesterday admitted to making rec-
ommendations that the newspa-
per s investigative reporter Asha
Javeed be "thoroughly inter-
viewed" regarding "lurid"
Trinileaks personal allegations
The T&T Guardian obtained
documents sent from Grant to One
Caribbean Media (OCM) CEO
Dawn Thomas giving recommen-
dations regarding the journalist,
following an investigation which
took place a few weeks ago.
OCM is the parent company to
the Trinidad Express newspaper.
Grant, however, could not con-
firm the date that the document
The document dealt with per-
sonal and other allegations made
against the journalist via the
Trinileaks Web site. It was copied
to Thomas and Caribbean Com-
munications Network (CCN) CEO
Neither Bholai nor Thomas was
available to comment yesterday.
Grant declined to specify the pre-
cise scope of the investigation or
to comment further on it.
However, he told the Guardian,
"I can t speak for the Express. I am
a consultant there and that is a
highly confidential document that
you have there. I don t know. I have
not been involved in that issue since
giving my recommendations."
He said he had been asked as a
consultant to make some recom-
mendations regarding a situation
"Those recommendations reflect
what I had thought at the time.
What I wrote was a three-page
thing. Yes, I did write the document
in my capacity as consulting edi-
Some of the recommendations
made by Grant included that the
reporter submit to a "thorough
interview to get on record her
responses to the lurid Trinileaks
personal allegations concerning her."
It was also recommended that
an independent investigator be
assigned to "separate fact and reality
from spin and sensationalism in
distinguishing the bidders and ben-
eficiaries in the National Quarries
On Thursday, Express Editor-in-
Chief Omatie Lyder denied that
any investigation was being carried
out regarding the reporter. She was
at that time responding to a state-
ment attributed to the president of
the Media Association of T&T
(Matt) Curtis Williams, who on
Wednesday said the newspaper had
launched an investigation into alle-
gations surrounding one of its
However, a statement issued by
the association on Wednesday con-
demned an Internet smear cam-
paign against a reporter, but noted
"Matt was also aware of other mat-
ters relating to the issue which is
being looked into."
In a telephone interview yester-
day, Lyder maintained that she was
not aware of any investigation under
way, or any that had taken place
previously regarding Javeed. She
said she could not speak on behalf
of the Express, but maintained that
she had never requested an inves-
tigation into Javeed.
"I answered that question in
today s Guardian. I was not aware
of any investigation into Asha
Javeed," Lyder said.
Asked if the Express had request-
ed the consulting services of Grant
in relation to Javeed, Lyder said, "I
did not ask him. I can only speak
for me. I cannot speak for the
She later admitted to knowing
of the document submitted by
Lyder said she received a letter
from former Arima mayor Ghassan
Youseph in October.
Youseph had, at the time, com-
plained about Javeed s conduct as
a journalist. In the correspondence,
Youseph alleged Javeed had
attempted to use her position as a
reporter for personal business.
According to Lyder, that situation
had been dealt with.
Asked how it was dealt with, she
explained that she had questioned
Javeed and deemed her behaviour
in the situation to be inappropri-
Any woman in public life who
speaks out is at risk of having her
personal life used against her.
This is the view of Gabrielle
Hosein, feminist and lecturer at the
University of the West Indies (UWI)
Institute for Gender and Develop-
In a telephone interview with the
Guardian yesterday, Hosein said:
"Women in public and professional
life are constantly vulnerable to
being undermined by the way their
personal lives may be seen and used
against them...by the way their sex-
uality and relationships may be
used to assassinate their characters
and trivialise or discredit their cred-
ibility, capacity or influence."
She was weighing in on a video
containing allegations against
Express investigative reporter Asha
The video has gone viral on the
Internet and has itself become the
subject of public debate.
The video made allegations about
Javeed s personal life and was placed
on the United National Congress
(UNC) Facebook page. Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan was later
quoted as referring to four female
Express journalists as "a team of
undercover PNM media agents."
Hosein said Javeed s professional
and citizen power was "clearly and
deliberately" attacked as was her
body and child, in what could only
have been an attempt to "humiliate
her out of town."
"Who a woman is sleeping with,
whose wife or partner she may be,
whose baby she may mother should
never be used to stop her from
doing her job. That politics of
shaming is overtly sexist and it is
a form of violence."
Hosein s comments echoed the
views of the Network of NGOs for
the advancement of women. The
network, which is led by activist
Hazel Brown, had earlier issued a
statement on the matter, which
said: "Any woman who falls prey
to this invasion in her personal and
private life is clearly a victim of
"This continuing lack of respect
for one s privacy demonstrates a
lack of moral values on our part
and has manifested itself in
increased crime and violence not
only against women but to the soci-
ety as a whole."
Barbados police have defended the
decision to file criminal charges
against three media workers in an
ongoing secondary school sex scan-
Three senior officials of the Bar-
bados Nation newspaper have been
charged with showing an indecent
photograph of two minors engaged in
a sexual act. Nation publisher, Vivian-
Anne Gittens, as well as the Editor-
in-Chief Roy Morris and senior jour-
nalist Sanka Price, were placed on
BDS$5,000 bail and ordered to hand
over their travel documents after
appearing in court on Thursday.
Price was the author of the article
which was accompanied by the
offending photograph. The matter has
been adjourned to March 11, 2014.
The Nation News is a subsidiary of
One Caribbean Media, the parent
company of the Trinidad Express and
The charges stem from the October
26 publication of an article headlined
"Sex Scene" and accompanying pho-
tograph based on the Facebook photo
and cellphone video of two secondary
school students having sex in a class-
The police are alleging that the pho-
tograph which accompanied the story
was an indecent picture of two 14-
year-olds in violation of Barbados
Protection Of Children Act.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of
Police (Crime) Lionel M Thompson
yesterday said that while it is important
to acknowledge the critical role the
"press plays in a liberal democratic
society," the Royal Barbados Police
Force (RBPF) was "legally bound to
impartially enforce the criminal law,
Thompson said that he was con-
strained to speak in general terms on
the case as it is sub judice.
However, he said the police began
"three parallel and simultaneous inves-
tigations" into the story that was car-
ried in the Nation newspaper.
"The charging of the three per-
sons...represents the conclusion of
one of the three investigations," he
said, adding that the second investi-
gation had resulted in the charges
being laid against the children.
"The other investigation remains
open," said Thompson, adding that
in considering the charges against the
media workers, the police "took full
cognisance of the debates on the issues
as the public saw them.
In pursuing the three investigations,
the RBPF came to the conclusion that
there was enough evidence to support
the charges that were brought, he said.
He added that the RBPF had sought
and followed the advice of the Director
of Public Prosecutions in the matter.
Two teenage boys, aged 16 and 15,
who were allegedly responsible for
capturing the act on film appeared in
court on a charge of taking an indecent
photograph sometime between Sep-
tember 1 and October 31.
They were released on BDS$10,000
Editor: I called for
reporter to be probed
MEDIA SMEAR CAMPAIGN
Feminists slam viral video
Barbados police defend
decision to charge journalists
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